Immersive Exhibition Brings Traditional Japanese Art and Mythology to Life

Immersive Exhibition Brings Traditional Japanese Art and Mythology to Life

Ultra Subjective Space invites visitors to view the world from the perspective of the ancient Japanese

Vashti Hallissey
  • 1 august 2014

The first US exhibition by Japanese Ultra-technologists teamLab takes visitors on a journey through space and time in seven digital screens. New York’s Pace Gallery is hosting the exhibition, which blurs the boundary between the virtual and the ancient world.

The exhibition is based on the unique perspective of traditional Japanese painting. teamLab explains on the exhibition website:

teamLab believes that traditional “flat” Japanese painting has a different spatial logic to that of western perspective. We call this logic Ultra Subjective Space.

In seven large-scale screens, the teamLab translates this understanding of space into 3D narratives inspired by Japanese mythology.

For example, Flower and Corpse Glitch Set of 12 is an animation of twelve stories that explore the age of myth and the legendary 8 headed creature Yamata no Orochi.

To animate this narrative, teamLab constructed 3D objects in an artificial 3D space and then flattened the images to coincide with perspective in traditional Japanese art. During the animation, the viewer is given glimpses of the 3D space to show the creation process.

Ever Blossoming Life – Gold uses the traditional Japanese painting style but the artwork itself is drawn in real time by a computer program. The live animation shows the life cycle of a flower.

The website states:

Flowers are born, grow, and blossom in profusion before the petals begin withering and flowers die and disappear. The cycle of birth and death repeats itself, continuing for eternity and never duplicating previous states. The image shown now cannot be viewed again.

This is a live artwork that creates different images with every cycle, using a flower as a metaphor for the universal cycle of life and the uniqueness of every individual life.

Cold Life recreates calligraphy in 3D:

A calligraphic series of brushstrokes modelled in virtual 3D space forms the character 生(Japanese/Mandarin for ‘life’) which then metamorphoses into a tree. As time passes, various life forms begin emanating and growing from within the tree.

As with ‘Flower and Corpse Glitch’, this work also reveals its process, letting the viewer see behind the computer-generated images to the wireframe models underneath.

Universe of Water Particles is a cascade of hundreds of thousands of water particles flowing over a virtual rock, in five times the resolution of HD.

It is inspired by the way water is represented in traditional Japanese paintings, as curvilinear lines that made it appear to be a living creature. The piece combines a modern understanding of water informed by physics with the spiritual idea of water held by the ancient Japanese.

teamLab explains the intention of this work on the exhibition website:

If one, drawn in by this universe of particles, feels as though they are immersed in the work and does not feel a barrier between them and the waterfall – such as one might feel when looking at a video recording of an actual waterfall – or maybe even feel one’s soul fusing with the lines of water/living energy, then perhaps they will be able to comprehend the connection between the ancient Japanese’s system of perception and their attitudes and behavior towards the world.

Ultra Subjective Space, which runs until August 15, immerses viewers in the ancient world of the Japanese with a series of exquisitely detailed animations. It turns traditional paintings and mythology into movement and light, using futuristic technology to bring visitors closer to the past.

Ultra Subjective Space

[h/t] designboom



Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.